Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut is a unique voice in the American canon—a writer whose works are hard to categorize, often straddling the space between literature and science fiction, and filled with cutting satire and dark humor. Like Mark Twain before him, Vonnegut's reputation and impact on American writing and reading will continue to grow steadily and increase in relevance as new insights are made.

Vonnegut was born in 1922 in Indianapolis, and studied at the University of Chicago and the University of Tennessee. In the Second World War, he became a German prisoner of war and was present during the bombing of Dresden. This experience provided inspiration for his most successful and influential novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. Vonnegut—admired as much for his views and his "Vonnegutisms" as for his publications—wrote extensively in many forms, including novels, short stories, essays, plays, articles, speeches, and correspondence, some of which was published posthumously.

A lifelong friend of Kurt Vonnegut’s, Dan Wakefield both edited and wrote the Introduction to the bestselling collection of Vonnegut's personal correspondence, Kurt Vonnegut: Letters. In addition, Wakefield is the author of the memoir New York in the Fifties, which was made into a documentary film, as well as Returning: A Spiritual Journey. He created the NBC prime time series "James at Fifteen" and wrote the script for the movie based on his novel Going All The Way, starring Ben Affleck.

Featured Books By Author

Kurt Vonnegut Drawings

Those who know Kurt Vonnegut as one of America's most beloved and influential writers will be surprised and delighted to discover that he was also a gifted graphic artist. This book brings together the finest examples of his funny, strange, and moving drawings in an inexpensive, beautifully produced gift volume for every Vonnegut fan.

Kurt Vonnegut's daughter Nanette introduces this volume of his never before published drawings with an intimate remembrance of her father. Vonnegut always drew, and many of his novels contain sketches. Breakfast of Champions (1973) included many felt-tip pen drawings, and he had a show in 1983 of his drawings at New York's Margo Feiden Gallery, but really got going in the early 1990s when he became acquainted with the screenprinter Joe Petro III, who became his partner in making his colorful drawings available as silkscreens.

With a touch of cubism, mixed with a Paul Klee gift for caricature, a Calder-like ability to balance color and line, and more than a touch of sixties psychedelic sensibility, Vonnegut's aesthetic is as idiosyncratic and defiant of tradition as his books. While writing came to be more onerous in his later years, making art became his joyful primary activity, and he made drawings up until his death in 2007. This volume, and a
planned touring exhibition of the drawings, will introduce Vonnegut's legion of fans to an entirely new side of his irrepressible creative personality.

Read more

If This Isn't Nice What Is? (Much) Expanded Second Edition

"Like his literary ancestor Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut’s crankiness is good-humored and sharp-witted."
—A.O. Scott in The New York Times Book Review

Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. For each occasion, Vonnegut's words were unfailingly unique, insightful, and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation.

This expanded second edition includes more than sixty pages of further thoughts from Kurt (whose good advice wasn’t limited to graduation speeches).

As edited by Dan Wakefield, this book reads like a narrative in the unique voice that made Vonnegut a hero to readers of all ages. At times hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and deeply serious, these reflections are ideal for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony"—marking the passage from student to full-time adult.

This book makes the perfect gift for people on the precipice of change/growth—from high school students to college graduates—or for anyone who will appreciate Vonnegut’s playful, profound wisdom.

Read more

Sun Moon Star

Sun Moon Star is the story of the birth of Jesus--as told by Kurt Vonnegut. This children's book takes the newborn Jesus' perspective, offering beautiful and insightful descriptions of the world from someone newly born into it. In this book, we follow Jesus and meet the people most important to his life--presented in new and surprising ways.
A powerful departure from Vonnegut's more adult work, Sun Moon Star gives readers a rare glimpse of the writer's talent in a format that's unique and unexpected. This book's well-crafted simplicity is sure to make it a favorite--with both children and adult readers who are Vonnegut fans.

Read more

Books By
Kurt Vonnegut